Commonly Tested Vocabulary Words Practice (page 2)

Updated on Sep 8, 2011


The following exercise lists vocabulary words from this lesson. Each word is followed by four answer choices. Three of them are synonyms of the vocabulary word in bold. Your task is to choose the one that is NOT a synonym.

  1. pertinacity
    1. persistence
    2. stubbornness
    3. loudness
    4. determination
  2. garrulous
    1. quiet
    2. talkative
    3. chatty
    4. loquacious
  3. brusque
    1. courteous
    2. brief
    3. abrupt
    4. blunt
  4. rancor
    1. hatred
    2. fondness
    3. dislike
    4. contempt
  5. cower
    1. cringe
    2. tremble
    3. rip
    4. shrink away
  6. succor
    1. aid
    2. assistance
    3. help
    4. stress
  7. plausible
    1. deceitful
    2. true
    3. believable
    4. possible
  8. diffident
    1. shy
    2. reserved
    3. furious
    4. bashful
  9. anomaly
    1. irregularity
    2. abnormality
    3. deviation
    4. average
  10. simian
    1. apelike
    2. concerning apes
    3. having to do with animals
    4. having to do with monkeys


Choose the word from the vocabulary list that means the opposite, or most nearly the opposite, of the following groups of words.

  1. treasure, valuables, prize
  2. fact, literal truth, exactness
  3. approach, stand up to, hold firm
  4. excited, enthusiastic, upset
  5. love, friendship, affection
  6. quiet, solemn, serious
  7. cuisine, delicacy, feast
  8. careless, indecisive, uncertain
  9. catch, imprison, confine
  10. impossible, unlikely, false


You won't be able to predict what words will be on a test, so give yourself an advantage by knowing your prefixes, suffixes, and roots. If you don't know a word, you'll be able to make an educated guess at its meaning.

Choosing the Right Word

Circle the word in bold that best completes the sentence.

  1. It is a very interesting offer, but I will need to (extricate, ruminate) on it a bit before I give you my answer.
  2. The lecturer explained the tremendous advantages that our earliest ancestors had over other species—the evolution of a (stolid, prehensile) hand.
  3. She showed amazing (pertinacity, hyperbole) at the meeting and eventually succeeded in persuading the entire room.
  4. He acted very (simian, diffident) when we approached, and we wondered if our forwardness made him uncomfortable.
  5. The employee was warned about being so(dross, garrulous) on the phone, and he was advised to be more professional and direct.
  6. The pitcher who made the all-star team was not just a(n) (anomaly, malapropism); he was the cream of the crop.
  7. The press was delighted when he came out of the building, but he was (brusque, badinage) with them and rushed out a moment later.
  8. I believe your theory is (prehensile, plausible), but I still think we should do a little more research.
  9. The neighbor was shocked at the boy's strange (diffident, simian) behavior and decided to notify his parents later that day.
  10. All they could do was (cower, succor) in fear as the bears approached them; they were so afraid that they couldn't even run away.

Practice Activities

Write a letter to a friend, teacher, or coworker using at least 5–7 of the words from this chapter's vocabulary list. Perhaps your letter could be a description of an unusual visit (like this chapter's visit to the apes), or a problem you have noticed that needs addressing. Look back over the list and try to see a few connections between the words. When an idea comes to you, go with it. The most important thing is to try to use as many new words as possible in the correct manner.

Try to discover as many alternate forms of the words from the word list as you can. For example, diffident is an adjective used to describe someone who is shy or reserved, and diffidence is the noun form that identifies that shyness or modesty. Jot down as many alternate forms of the words as you can guess, and then check the words in a dictionary. Can you use each of the forms of the words in a sentence?

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